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Lawmakers decry deadly Mindanao State University blast

Senate and House of Representatives lawmakers on Sunday denounced the bombing at the Mindanao State University in Marawi City in which four were killed and several others were injured.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said it was disheartening to see such “completely heartless” violence in Marawi City several years after the 2017 siege.

“It is especially alarming to see such a brazen attack on a state university during a Catholic Mass. No one should have to feel unsafe in places of learning and places of worship,” he said.

Zubiri urged the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Bangsamoro Autonomous government to leave no stone unturned in bringing justice for the victims and to restore the peace in Marawi.

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, meanwhile, was sure that the ones responsible for the explosion were not Muslims nor Christians, but were terrorists.

House Deputy Minority Leader Mujiv Hataman also said that the incident was “plain and simple terrorism.”

“Wala na tayong ibang salita para ilarawan ang karahasan na ginawa sa mga estudyanteng payapang nagdadaos ng Misa kanina, isang malayang pagpapahayag ng kanilang relihiyon. Katulad ng madalas nating sabihin, walang lugar ang karahasan sa isang sibilisadong lipunan. At ang mga responsable sa pambobombang ito ay dapat managot sa ilalim ng batas,” he said.

(We have no other words to describe the violence done to students who were peacefully holding Mass this morning, freely expressing their religion. As we often say, violence has no place in a civilized society. Those responsible for this bombing should be held accountable under the law.)

Senator Imee Marcos, meanwhile, also called on law enforcers to “punish to the utmost” the perpetrators of the crime.

“The historic injustice of Mindanao cannot be allowed to persist, nor should the horrific siege of Marawi ever be repeated especially on the eve of intended peace talks,” she said.

Lanao del Sur 1st district Congressman Zia Alonto Adiong said his office was extending support and assistance to the victims and their families.

“I express the highest condemnation for the perpetrators, these murderers who targeted innocents in prayer. There is no room in Marawi, in Lanao, or the entire Philippines for them,” he said.

House Minority Leader and 4Ps partylist Representative Marcelino “Nonoy” Libanan condemned the bombing, and said the cowardly attack should not go unpunished.

“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims,” added Libanan.

Senators Loren Legarda, Sherwin Gatchalian, Ramon Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Lito Lapid also denounced the bombing at MSU and urged authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. had earlier condemned the attack and vowed justice for the victims.

He stressed that “extremists who wield violence against the innocent will always be regarded as enemies to our society.”

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless and most heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists upon the Mindanao State University (MSU) and Marawi communities early this Sunday morning,” Marcos said.

The blast occurred at 7:30 a.m. as a Mass attended by students and teachers was being held at the gym, according to a report by GMA Integrated News stringer Ferdinandh Cabrera on Super Radyo dzBB.

Forty-six victims were brought to Marawi City’s Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) emergency room, with four confirmed dead and six set to undergo surgery, according to the Philippine Army's 1st Infantry Division (1ID) public affairs officer. — DVM, GMA Integrated News